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31st Jan 2020

4 mums on the best tricks for taking a little bit of stress out of motherhood

Trine Jensen-Burke

Motherhood is amazing.

It is hands down the most fun-filled and exciting and just lovely thing I have ever done – and I am sure every mam feels the same way.

However, I know we will also all agree on this next one:

Motherhood, actually being someone’s mum – it is also hard work. It is at times both chaotic and challenging and flat out tear-your-hair-out busy, no?

Which is I am always on the hunt for tricks that will take (some of) the stress out of motherhood. One of my favourite things to do is ask other mums about their best hacks for making family life run that little bit smoother and just, well, how to get through the day with your sanity still intact.

In my eight years of motherhood I have collected some real gems – many of which I have now adopted and use myself. Because, frankly, I am all about making family life less stressful.

Here are five mums on their best tricks for taking the stress out of motherhood:

1. Sign up for online grocery shopping

“Seriously, what did people do before the internet made it possible to do your weekly shop from the comfort of your own sofa? These days, I always sit down for a few minutes on a Monday evening, when everyone is in bed, and fill out my online grocery order, checking the calendar as I go so I know if we have playdates or parties happening or anything else on the agenda. By doing it this way, I am never caught for enough food for little friends, or end up with food that goes up because I suddenly remember the kids are away on soccer camp and won’t need dinner on a specific day. I love how you can schedule when you want the delivery done, and that I now (nearly) never have to brace the grocery store with three kids in tow.”

Linda, mum-of-three

2. Keep a stack of cards and presents

“When you have kids of school age, it seems it is always someone’s birthday. Having been totally stuck a few times and having to dash around my local shopping centre in desperation trying to find a card and a suitable presents, I have now started stocking up a couple of times a year, meaning I always have a stack of birthday cards ready. As for presents, I find you can never really go wrong with a cinema voucher, and like with the cards, you can do a sweep and buy a good few, so that you always have one ready should your child suddenly come home and declare he is going to party tomorrow.”

Aoife, mum-of-one

3. Make meal-prep a weekend priority

“Seeing as both myself and my husband work full-time outside the home, I used to always find the time from creche- and school pick-up until I had dinner on the table incredibly stressful. We were all tired and wrung out form our respective days, hunger making us grumpy, and it felt like I was forever having to stop at the corner shop or supermarket for something we were missing in order to get dinner ready. And when we got home and I was trying to cook, the kids were hanging off me, begging for snacks or asking me over and over again how long it would be until dinner.

Every since I started getting serious about meal-planning, not only have our afternoons become far less stressful, we are also both eating healthier and more varied and saving money. These days, I always sit down on a Friday and plan our meals for next week, hit the supermarket early Saturday morning and then have the weekend to fit in some meal planning and prepping, meaning we are ready to hit the ground running once Monday and a new week rolls around.”

Emma, mum-of-two

4. Plan out your week every Sunday evening

“I used to spend at least half an hour before bed on a Sunday freaking out over how busy the next week would be and how I would possibly manage to get everything done, in between work-deadlines, appointments, playdates and everything in between. On and on my mind would race, fretting over to-dos and errands and ‘can’t-forget-about-this’ stuff.

But then, taking the advice of a fellow working mama, I started doing this very simple little task on a Sunday evening – and, seriously; it has changed everything. Certainly in terms of stress and panic, anyway.

Now, every Sunday afternoon, I sit down with a pen and some paper (and my old-school calendar) and plan out the week ahead. Writing things down physically, to me, makes it easier to remember everything and also, it gives me great satisfaction whenever I am able to cross off something that had now been done. In my calendar (and on my DIY wall-planner) I jot down everything that is happening that week, be it work meetings, dentist appointments, playdates or what bills need to be paid. I even put in things like meeting a friend for coffee or going to a yoga class, as physically writing things down makes it more likely that I actually commit to doing it and don’t just cancel at the last minute.”

Trine, mum-of-two